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At least four beaches in St. Johns County are getting extra sand

It's rare for this many beaches at one time to have sand or dune projects in St. Johns County.

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla — There is a lot of sand getting pumped onto beaches in St. Johns County.

At least four beaches are in the middle of restoration projects or slated for projects in the future. 

That’s a lot for a county which has 42 miles of coastline.

Crews are using land-moving equipment to set giant pipes along South Ponte Vedra Beach in order to pump sand onto the coastline.

Joe Giammanco, St. Johns County's Emergency Operations Director, said, "This was identified pretty quickly after Matthew for funding."

Hurricane Matthew in 2016 ripped beach homes apart and yanked sand off this already-eroding beach, just north of the Serenata Beach Club.

This project to replace sand costs about $15 million, according to Giammanco. Government funding is paying for half of it and residents along the coast are paying the other half.

Meanwhile, sand placement was recently completed at Mickler’s Landing. However, work continues on the northern tip of Ponte Vedra Beach.  It’s expected to be complete in the fall.

Farther south, Vilano Beach will get more sand starting next year. It’s part of a $62 million two-beach emergency project to help erosion there.

The second beach in this project is St. Augustine Beach, including the area around the pier. So much sand has eroded away in this area that beach access on the north side of the pier is off limits.

Giammanco said there's a reason so many projects are happening at once. "We had quite a bit of damage during Matthew and Irma.  And beach projects take time."

    

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